Vietnam’s president congratulated Cambodia on the country’s achievements under the reign of King Norodom Sihamoni and the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen during the King’s official visit to Hanoi.
The King, 65, arrived in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi on Wednesday, as he embarked on a three-day “friendship building” official visit to the country, which is due to wrap-up on Friday this week.
In the King’s absence, Senate president and Cambodian People’s Party deputy president Say Chhum is “acting Head of State”.
The King’s visit to Vietnam is made just two weeks after Hun Sen led a senior delegation to the country, where he met with the country’s top leaders to “speed up” the resolution to an ongoing land dispute over an unsettled 16 per cent of their 1,270km shared land border.
The prime minister was also present at the signing of several new agreements between the two nations.
Wednesday’s meeting between the King and Vietnam Communist Party secretary-general, President Nguyen Phu Trong was covered by the state-run Vietnam News Agency (VNA).
Trong was reported as saying his country was committed to strengthening its “traditional friendship” with Cambodia for both nations’ benefit, as well as for regional stability, cooperation and development.
“The Vietnamese leader congratulated the Cambodian people on the achievements they have made under the reign of King Sihamoni and the leadership of the Senate, National Assembly and Government,” VNA said.
Trong also said he considered the King “a close friend” of the Vietnamese people. In response, the King described Vietnam as “a great friend and a close neighbour” of the Cambodian people, before affirming his continued efforts to consolidate cooperation between the nations.
“King Sihamoni, for his part, noted with pleasure the development of Vietnam-Cambodia ties in the past five decades, adding that the two countries have enjoyed good co-operation in all spheres, as well as at regional and international forums, including the Asean,” VNA added.
Cambodian government spokesman Phay Siphan on Thursday said Vietnam’s high appreciation towards Cambodia reflected the strong ties the neighbours shared.
“In the past until now, Vietnam has shown a good neighbourly relation and poses no risk affecting Cambodian national security. This is a continuation of our mutual respect of each other’s sovereignty, and we do not interfere into the internal affairs of one another,” he said.
Siphan agreed with the King’s assessment of Vietnam, saying: “The statement of the King shows clearly our appreciation of Vietnam and the value of the cooperation in the interests of being a good neighbour.
“The King’s visit to Vietnam shows Cambodia will always maintain peace … and we will always respect each other’s sovereignty.”
During the meeting, the King also told the Vietnamese leader that Cambodian people will “never forget” the valuable support the Vietnamese state and people have shown the country historically and today.